Friday, June 6, 2014
June 6 – Don’t drag His name through the mud
He restores my strength. He leads me down the right paths for the sake of his reputation. (Psalm 23:3 NET)
When we’re at the end of our rope and have no strength to continue, this promise (and many others like it) should come to mind to strengthen us. If God has allowed us to go through a certain problem it’s because we have the strength and faith to overcome it, as long as we trust in Him. When our strength runs low, He promises to restore it. So we can never complain to God about not having enough strength to overcome the problems that come our way. Even when our feelings tell us that we’re weak, He will supernaturally make us strong.
I believe in complaining with God — like Abraham, Gideon, Hannah, and Jacob — and insisting that His Word come true in our lives when we see that we are living a contradiction. That type of complaint is based on a strong belief in God’s Word and a determination that it come true in our own lives. This is a healthy type of complaint with God. The unhealthy type, implies that God is not holding up His side of the bargain… It’s rebellious and dangerous, and comes from a lack of faith. It can destroy us by taking us farther and farther away from God’s Word. Today’s promise is an unequivocal statement that God will provide us with all the strength we need for our present situation.
He also promises that He will guide us down the right path when we look to Him as our Shepherd. Any shepherd that does not lead his sheep, but leaves them to wander alone and lost, would be an incompetent, lazy shepherd. Jesus is nothing like that kind of Shepherd. We can count on Him to guide us. As long as we live by faith and trust in His voice, we can be sure that we are not heading for a dead end, or for failure. As a good Shepherd, Jesus only leads us to victory.
The most powerful part of this promise is the last phrase: “for the sake of his reputation.” God has to renew our strength and lead us on the right path because His reputation is at stake!! If He doesn’t take care of those who truly trust in Him, who accept Him as their Shepherd and who take on the role of His sheep, His reputation will be dragged through the mud. Our failed lives would cause Him to lose credibility. His glory would be diminished… and God cannot put up with that. He is a God who insists on His name being glorified, not out of pride, but because it is true and right. When we glorify Him, we are filled with light and are drawn near to Him.
Why does God promise to keep you strong and make sure you’re on the right path? For the glory of His name. As long as we cooperate, His promise is guaranteed to come true.